My roller shutter squeaks, what should I do?

The morning and evening ritual of opening and closing the roller shutters in your home quickly becomes unpleasant when they emit abnormal shrill noises. This problem appears on most shutters as they get older. But then for what reasons? And above all, how to get rid of it effectively without being a DIY professional? Find out in this article all the solutions and tips for refurbishing a squeaky roller shutter.

Why does a roller shutter squeak?

The squealing of a shutter is characterized by a high-pitched, shrill, metallic sound. It can be brief, like lasting the entire time of the lowering and/or raising of the shutter. First, be aware that this noise is not not worrying and in no way interferes with the proper functioning of the shutter. However, it can be very annoying.

Generally, the squeak(s) appear after several years of use following component wear. This wear can be natural but can also be favored by the external environment (pollution, sun, spray, violent wind, etc.) and poor maintenance (no regular cleaning or lubrication). The noise therefore appears following the wear of the loose components, who clog, or who rub on parts where they shouldn't.

Several parts of the shutter can squeak:

  • the wings or side slides: rails present on each side of the shutter which allow the curtain to slide and therefore to go down and up easily
  • le tablier : all the roller shutter slats
  • le chest (or box) and the elements present inside: winding shaft, tulips, guide flanges, motor, or winch.
  • la crank. In that case, click here and read the section "Squeaky crank: what to do?" ».

To determine which of its components causes the noise to appear, you just have to listen when the shutter goes down and up. Depending on the origin of the noise on the shutter (rather behind the scenes/apron or rather trunk), the checks and handling will not be identical. You will then need to refer to the part of our guide corresponding to the origin of the squealing to be able to solve the problem effectively.

What to do to avoid the squeaking of a roller shutter?

Usually, to fix a squeaky roller shutter, for an simple maintenance and lubrication solves the problem. It may be necessary to push the repair replacing the apron slats. And in rarer cases, the replacement of a defective part may be necessary. Then follow our troubleshooting guide to find the appropriate solutions to your problem. Note that if the noise does not completely disappear after handling, it may be due to several factors combined. In this case, continue our guide until you have eliminated or reduced the noise as much as possible.

Caution: If you are unable to carry out one or more operations, call on a professional or abandon the project because you risk irreversibly damaging the cover or injuring yourself. If your shutter is electric, cut off its power source as soon as you perform any operation on the cover, and in particular if you use water or open the box. In the case where the squeaky shutter(s) have just been installed, immediately contact the after-sales service of the manufacturer or the company that installed the shutters for you because there may be a manufacturing or installation fault. If this is confirmed, then the costs should be borne by them. 

Clean the slides of the shutter

In more than 80% of cases, it suffices to clean and grease the side guides so that the squeaking noise on a roller shutter disappears or at least lessen. Generally, by straining your ears during the lowering and raising of the shutter, you will be able to very clearly hear whether the squealing noise is really coming from behind the scenes or not.

a side slide

If so, start with clean the two shutter slides by proceeding as follows:

  1. Go up the shutter in the box to have access to the backstage
  2. Using a small stiff-bristled brush, remove impurities in the wings. You can also suck them up with a vacuum cleaner if you prefer.
  3. To remove encrusted dirt, give it a littlemoistened sponge

Wait for the backstage to dry. Then proceed with lubrication.

Grease the runners of the squeaky roller shutter

Cleaning the slides often does not completely eliminate the squealing sound of the blades. To achieve this, it will then be necessary grease them by proceeding as follows:

  1. Buy a silicone lubricant spray that you will find in DIY stores for ten euros. Be careful that it is formulated with silicone because it is the only type of product suitable for joinery, and above all which does not damage plastic. If in doubt, do not hesitate to seek advice from a store assistant.
  2. Raise the shutter inside the box
  3. Spray the lubricant spray full length backstage
  4. Lower and raise the apron 2-3 times so that the product is distributed correctly on all the guides

You can also add seals brushes stick to your backstage for reduce the friction that makes your shutters squeal.

To prevent your roller shutter from squealing again, remember to do this maintenance twice a year. Also clean regularly, and as soon as they start to get too dirty, the blades with water and mild soap (Marseille soap, black soap) to avoid the appearance of parasitic noises. Be careful, however, never grease the shutter blades as this could damage them.

Replace the roller shutter slats

If your roller shutter is still squealing, the noise may also be coming from one or more of its blades that have moved and which are therefore no longer aligned. This can then cause a squeaking noise when the apron folds and unfolds because staggered blades rub along the slides in a place where they shouldn't.

This problem only appears on shutters that are not fitted with storm clips or end caps. Most of the time, these are PVC roller shutters. If your shutter is equipped with storm clips or end caps, this operation does not concern you because the slats are fixed and therefore cannot shift.

Si you don't know if your shutter is equipped with clips or end caps, here's how to check it : raise the shutter so that the last slat does not touch the bottom of the window. Try to stagger the last blade with your hand. If you can easily move it, then your shutter is not equipped with fixings. In this case, manipulation concerns you. If not, go to the next step.

To align blades that have shifted and which potentially cause your roller shutter to squeak, two procedures exist and depend on the configuration of your roller shutter:

1 – Method 1: Replace the blades without opening the trunk

  1. Put in closed position the roller shutter apron while leaving the openings open.
  2. Replace the slats one by one in the center of the apron. To do this, shift them in turn with your hand and place them at the same distance from the two slides. Start with the bottom blade for simplicity. All blades must end up being centered and aligned.
  3. If you have a trunk that opens easily, open it to replace the upper blade of the apron (blade fixed to the winding axis).
Reposition each slat in the center and at the same distance from the two slides

2 – Method 2: Replace the blades by opening the trunk

This method is simpler, however, it forces you to open the trunk of your squeaky roller shutter. In addition, it is preferable to be two for simplicity and significant time saving, unless your roller shutter opens and closes with a remote control:

  1. Open shutter box
  2. Made take down the apron all the way down
  3. Made raise the blades three by three and check each time that they are aligned with each other at the winding axis. If it's not the case, realign them so that they cover each other well.
Photo 1: Blades not aligned on a swimming pool winding axis
Photo 2: Blades aligned on a swimming pool winding axis
The example above deals with an awning and a swimming pool roller shaft. But it is the same arrangement and the same problem for window roller shutters. 

Note that if this alignment problem reappears and each time causes a squealing noise, you can eliminate the problem simply by changing the current apron with a new one with fasteners (clips or end caps).

Replace squeaky shutter slats

In the case where the apron is too damaged (broken, bent, cracked, cracked, rusty blades etc), you will need either replace defective bladesEither replace the apron :

• If some slats are damaged and your shutter model allows you to change the slats individually, replace them.

• If too many blades are damaged or the apron is deformed, replace it completely. We advise you to opt for a aluminum apron with clips or end caps which will guarantee you both a much longer lifespan than PVC and which is statistically less affected by squeaking noises.

Check inside the trunk

Finally, if you have noticed that your roller shutter squeals in the bootThen you will have to open it to diagnose the responsible part, and thus try to reduce the parasitic noise:

Note: The procedure for opening a safe will depend on the model and installation of your shutter. We invite you to consult the instructions to see if the method is explained. Otherwise, consult an online video tutorial corresponding to your model to help you in the process. If your safe is built into the wall, you will need to call in a professional. But given the price of the intervention, it is probably better to accept the squealing noise. 

The interior of the roller shutter box can squeak due to various components : the winding axis, the tulips, the guide flanges, the motor on an electric shutter or the winch on a crank shutter. Listen closely to try to diagnose which one is squealing. Depending on the component that produces the noise, the checks and repairs will not be identical:

1 – Check and repair the winding shaft

  • Using a screwdriver or an adjustable wrench, make sure that the screws and fasteners are tight at the winding axis. Caution: avoid over-tightening at the risk of damaging the mechanism.
  • Check that nothing is blocking the raising or lowering of the shutter (no object, debris or misplaced component).
  • Lower the shutter all the way to the bottom and make sure that the winding shaft is not damaged (no impact or deformation).
  • If you haven't done this before, make sure that the upper slat (the one held by the apron clips) is well centered and aligned with the other slats.

2 – Fix the tulips

If the squealing of the shutter box comes from the tulips (parts located at the top of the wings):

  • Make sure they are securely attached. Otherwise, glue them back together.
  • Spray a small amount of silicone lubricant  
  • If they appear damaged, replace them. Be careful to buy similar tulips and therefore of the same diameter.

3 – Repair the guide flanges

If the noise comes from guide flanges (parts that are located at each end of the winding shaft):

  • Spray a small spray of silicone-based lubricant spray on the guide flanges.
  • If they are broken or too damaged (often sanded from turning and rubbing), replace them.

4 – Repair the winch (manual component)

Si the shutter squeaks at the winch (part located at the end of the winding axis only on a crank roller shutter):

  • Spray silicone lubricant where the crank fits and between the winding shaft and the winch.
  • If the winch continues to squeal, replace it.

5 – Change the motor (electric roller shutter)

If the squealing of the electric roller shutter comes from inside the winding axis, it is certainly the engine. A new engine costs between €100 and €250 and this price does not include labor if a professional has to do it. So, we advise you to change it only if problems with the operation of the shutter appear and are due to the engine which tires, such as for example a flap that has difficulty going up or that does not go up anymore.

Call the after-sales service or a professional in the sector

If your squeaky shutter is bothering you too much and you are not competent to handle it or you are unable to solve the problem despite your best efforts, the only solution left for you is to call on a professional. professional.

If your shutter is still under warranty (which can range from 1 year to more than 10 years), call on the assistance of the shutter manufacturer or the company that installed it for you. Please note that noise is not always a reason supported by the manufacturer, especially if the squealing is minimal. On the other hand, if it appears from the first days after their installation or following a manufacturing defect (slides too wide, badly installed shutter, etc.), they can then intervene without you having to foresee any costs.

If you squeaky roller shutter is no longer under warranty who covers it, you can then call on an independent professional in the sector. He will be able to find the origin of the squeak and make it disappear. However, high costs are to be expected, especially if he has to replace a part.

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